1 October 2023
The Dirt Xtra
The more things change, the more they stay the same, or so…
When you plan a fixture list, a number of checks and balances have to be applied, each hopefully contributing to your potential audience on the prospective date.
Sometimes however, something happens which distracts from your plan and reduces that audience.
At our last meeting, we faced a perfect storm of distractions.
Not one unexpected hiccup, not just a couple — but three unanticipated reasons for regular folk to miss the matches – which actually turned up some pretty good racing.
But what combined to cause the storm — what were the circumstances appearing out of the blue, distracting from the appeal of the night Scunny and Kent came calling?
Firstly, it is unlikely that any of us appreciated the distraction caused by the Coronation. When the fixtures were planned, May 6th was just another date on the calendar. No-one could have appreciated how a greater proportion than expected of the population (and therefore a greater proportion of the potential speedway crowd) would decide to celebrate the Royal day with a knees-up, and give our attraction a miss.
Next, the fixture – chosen to link the Scorpions, who aren’t one of our bigger attractions here and whose fans don’t travel in numbers, with the addition of an NDL match against Kent – was targeted as a double-header, to give our audience some extra entertainment. Fair enough, and sensible forward planning – but what couldn’t be catered for in advance was the (understatement alert) disappointing performance of the team the previous week, again causing a downturn in interest in all things Bandit the next Saturday.
So far, so bad – it was probably not going to be a bumper attendance, given these two factors – but the perfect storm was created by the weather…….
If you are setting up a fixture list, it is reasonable to reckon that by early May, the weather will be kinder than in the first weeks of the season.
But we had the third strike against us from the Gods of Weather, who delivered upon Tweedmouth a damp, dank, horribly-cold, ultra-foggy Saturday night…………
As I said, three factors making the perfect storm so unpalatable which couldn’t have been anticipated. Any one of them might have been looked on as a wee blip, but shoulder-shruggingly acceptable.
But all three?
Imagine your regular speedway-attending family, a fortnight ago.
“Look, that Coronation was awesome, will we just stay in and have a wee party – these Royal days only happen every seventy years….?”
“Aw, I don’t know, I still want to see speedway – but right enough, the Bandits lost pretty heavily last week….”
“No, no, let’s go to speedway”.
“Oh, hang on – look at the bloody weather!”
Like I said. A perfect storm against us. But hopefully a one-off. Or rather, a three-off.
Who’d be a speedway promoter?